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  • NOSCA: National Office for School Counselor Advocacy

    NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    Middle School Counselors Guide

  • Own the Turf is NOSCAs national advocacy campaign to galvanize and mobilize school counselors to provide

    every student with the inspiration, planning, academic preparation and social capital to graduate from high

    school ready for college and careers. NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    are the road map for this work. They outline an effective path toward creating a college-going culture in

    schools, districts and communities.

    This guide to the Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling is part of a series one each

    for elementary, middle and high school counselors that helps school counselors intentionally focus their

    work on college and career readiness counseling.

    The three guides illustrate how school counselors can use the Eight Components to establish a college-

    going culture across the K12 pipeline, promote college and career readiness for all students, and close gaps

    between low-performing or traditionally underrepresented students and their peers.

    The College Boards National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA) promotes the value of school

    counselors as leaders in advancing school reform and student achievement. It seeks to endorse and

    institutionalize school counseling practice that advocates for equitable educational access and rigorous

    academic preparation necessary for college and career readiness for all students.

    Acknowledgments Middle School Counselors Guide: NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling is a National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA) publication supported by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. This

    publication is one of three guides to assist school counselors in implementing the Eight Components. The series of guides

    was written by NOSCA team members Vivian Lee, senior director, and April Bell, associate director.

    Many thanks are in order for the production of this publication. Special thanks to Patricia Martin of NOSCA for her

    leadership and guidance throughout this endeavor; Jennifer Dunn, NOSCA director, for reviewing the guide and providing

    valuable feedback; Dominique Jones, NOSCA assistant director, for managing the project; and KSA-Plus Communications

    for editorial and design contributions.

    2012 The College Board. College Board, Advanced Placement, Advanced Placement Program, AP, CollegeEd, SAT and the acorn logo are the registered trademarks of the College Board. ReadiStep, SAT Subject Tests and YouCanGo! are trademarks owned by the College Board. PSAT/NMSQT is a registered trademark of the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. All other products and services may be trademarks of their respective owners. Visit the College Board on the Web: www.collegeboard.org.

    NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

  • Middle School Counselors Guide 1

    ContentsYour Role in College and Career Readiness Counseling 2

    The Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling for Middle School

    1. College Aspirations 4

    2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness 6

    3. Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement 8

    4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes 10

    5. College and Career Assessments 12

    6. College Affordability Planning 14

    7. College and Career Admission Processes*

    8. Transition from High School Graduation to College Enrollment*

    Data Elements for the Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling 16

    *Elementary and middle school counselors focus on components 16, while high school counselors address components 18.

  • 2 NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    Your Role in College and Career Readiness Counseling

    1. Carnevale, A.P., Smith, N., and Strohl, J. (June 2010). Help wanted: Projections of jobs and education requirements through 2018. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

    School counSeling AcroSS the K12 PiPeline

    Imagine a school system in which every student graduates ready for college and career. In this system, all students want to succeed, and they have the tools they need to achieve now and in the future.

    Every person in every school community can help students in elementary, middle and high school develop the skills and aspirations that are critical to preparing for college and career. As a school counselor, your leadership is central to this work.

    Between 2008 and 2018, 63 percent of job openings will

    require some postsecondary education. But only 42

    percent of Americans currently earn an associate degree

    or higher by the age of 25.1 What percentage of the

    students you advise will earn a degree or certification?

    Effective school counselors convey the expectation

    that all students, regardless of their background and

    economic status, can become college and career ready.

    The Eight Components of College and Career Readiness

    Counseling are the road map for leading your school

    in developing a college-going culture that includes all

    students.

    At first glance, many of the Eight Components may seem

    familiar, but in fact, they offer a new perspective. The

    Eight Components are about focusing on critical issues

    and making sure all of your decisions and actions are

    directly linked to helping all of your students prepare for

    success in college and their chosen careers.

    Effective college and career readiness counseling

    begins in kindergarten and continues through high

    school. Middle school counselors build on the work of

    counselors in elementary schools and pave the way for

    the work of high school counselors.

    For example, if high school students are going to

    take Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus, they must

    complete Algebra I by eighth grade. Attaining that goal

    depends on reading proficiently by third grade. There is a

    clear path, and NOSCAs Eight Components describe it.

    School counselors use the Eight Components

    throughout students K12 education:

    Elementary school counselors create early

    awareness, knowledge and skills that lay the

    foundation for the academic rigor and social

    development necessary for college and career

    readiness. (Components 16)

    Middle school counselors create opportunities to

    explore and deepen college and career knowledge

    and skills necessary for academic planning and goal

    setting. (Components 16)

    High school counselors create access to college and

    career pathways that promote full implementation of

    personal goals that ensure the widest range of future

    life options. (Components 18)

    Taken together, the components are the building blocks

    of college and career readiness counseling. Efforts of

    school counselors build on each other throughout the

    K12 pipeline. The individual components also reinforce

    one another. They are interconnected, and actions

    related to one component can lay a foundation for

    improvements in multiple areas.

  • Middle School Counselors Guide 3

    2. Content describing how to work systemwide is derived from Lee, V. V., & Goodnough, G. E. (2011). Systemic data-driven school counseling practice and programming for equity. In B. T. Erford (Ed.) Transforming the school counseling profession (3rd). Boston, MA: Pearson Merrill Prentice-Hall.

    equity, DAtA AnD WorKing SyStemWiDe Being more effective and reaching all students

    especially traditionally underserved populations may

    require school counselors to work differently. To be

    successful with the Eight Components, focus your work

    in these ways:

    Be equitable. Equity means giving every student or student group what they need to be successful. For

    example, participating in rigorous courses, such as

    Algebra I, in middle school can affect how far a student

    will progress in math all the way through high school.

    The key to equity is making sure all students have the

    opportunity to enroll in, and the support to complete,

    rigorous courses. School counselors can advance equity

    by participating on school leadership teams and using

    data to identify trends in course taking among student

    groups. They also can work with teachers to create

    a welcoming learning environment for traditionally

    underserved students taking Algebra I and other

    rigorous courses; encourage their schools to develop

    academic safety nets to support students who struggle

    with their work; and teach parents and families how to

    support their children as they take rigorous courses.

    Use data to inform practice. Data provide the starting point for understanding your school community.

    Use data to identify which students and student groups

    are successfully preparing for college and career and

    which are not. And use data to identify disparities among

    student groups so you can more effectively reach the

    students most in need.

    Work systemwide. Lead a systemwide effort to create a college-going culture in every part of your

    students lives. Work directly with students individually,

    in groups, in classrooms and across grades. And reach

    out to them through schoolwide events, collaborations

    with others in the school district, and activities that

    engage families and the community.2 This approach

    gives students layers of support from a variety of adults

    and peers and it positions you as a leader in preparing

    students for college and career.

    WhAt to meASureRelevant data

    This guide identifies relevant data elements for

    each component. These are data elements, such as

    attendance, promotion and GPA, that are available in

    most schools. (See page 16 for a list of the data elements

    for all components for elementary, middle and high

    school.)

    WhAt to looK ForData by student groups

    In addition to reviewing data for all students, break

    down the data to assess performance of student groups,

    paying close attention to traditionally underserved

    populations.

    Race and ethnicity

    Gender

    Grade

    Income level (students who qualify for free and

    reduced-price meals)

    Special education students

    English language learners

    Other student groups, as appropriate for your school

    (e.g., students who are homeless or students with a

    military family member who is deployed)

    Disparities between student groups

    When you review data for student groups, look for

    disparities. For example, are attendance rates different

    for males and females? Do promotion rates of students

    from low-income families differ from promotion rates

    for their more affluent peers? By asking these questions,

    you will identify gaps among student groups.

    WhAt to DoWork systemwide

    Implement interventions systemwide working with

    students, schools, districts, parents and families, and

    communities to reach everyone. Focus your work on

    the students who need the most help, and then use data

    to assess the impact of those efforts. In this way, you will

    create equitable interventions and begin to close the gaps.

  • 4 NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    College Aspirations1Component

    the goAlBuild a college-going culture based on early college

    awareness by nurturing in students the confidence to

    aspire to college and the resilience to overcome challenges

    along the way. Maintain high expectations by providing

    adequate supports, building social capital and conveying

    the conviction that all students can succeed in college.

    Why it mAtterSSchool communities that intentionally encourage high

    aspirations for all students are more likely to help them

    gain the academic preparation necessary to graduate

    college and career ready.

    WhAt to meASureActive and productive engagement in school is one

    indicator of students aspirations. To assess your

    students level of engagement, see if they are attending

    school, behaving appropriately in school and performing

    well academically.

    Relevant data

    Attendance

    Discipline

    Promotion

    GPA

    WhAt to looK ForData by student groups

    Break down the data to assess performance of

    student groups, paying close attention to traditionally

    underserved populations. (See page 3 for a list of the

    student groups).

    Disparities between student groups

    For example:

    How do the attendance rates for homeless students

    compare to those of students not considered

    homeless?

    How do the discipline rates for males compare to

    those of females?

    How do the promotion rates for Latino students

    compare to those of white students?

    WhAt to DoWork systemwide

    Work systemwide with students, schools, districts,

    parents and families, and communities to reach

    everyone. Focus your work on the students who need

    the most help, and then use data to assess the impact

    of those efforts. In this way, you will create equitable

    interventions and begin to close the gaps.

  • Middle School Counselors Guide: Component 1 5

    WorK SyStemWiDe

    Students (Individual, Group, Classroom and Grade)

    Connect students who have high tardiness, absences

    and discipline referrals to potential mentors,

    including more successful peers, high school

    students and at least one adult in the school and/or

    community. Focus on students attitudes and how

    their behavior affects themselves and others.

    Help students improve their academic performance

    and learning habits (striving for excellence,

    organization, flexibility, listening and communicating

    effectively) to improve grades and promotion/

    retention outcomes.

    Help students become successful learners and

    contributing members of a diverse community. Focus

    on respecting alternative perspectives, compromise,

    consensus building, collective decision making, goal

    setting, problem solving and conflict resolution.

    School

    Collaborate with teachers and administrators to

    review attendance, discipline, promotion/retention

    and GPA policies and corresponding data. Pilot

    changes across the school to ensure equity for

    all student groups. Focus on students assets and

    strengths and classroom management.

    Help teachers integrate college/career information

    into the curriculum to reflect students interests,

    talents and abilities. Connect students interests to

    academic preparation, postsecondary education and

    real-world careers.

    Collaborate with teachers to develop interdisciplinary

    learning opportunities that use creative and

    performing arts and that make clear connections

    between academics and careers (e.g., how art can tell

    the story of history).

    District

    Collaborate with elementary school counselors to

    help students make smooth transitions into middle

    school. Focus on clarifying academic requirements

    to graduate college and career ready and outline

    behavioral expectations. Hold parent meetings,

    school visits and new student orientations.

    Create middle-to-high-school transition practices

    that include summer skill-building sessions, parent

    and student school visits, and orientation. Identify

    students in need of extra academic and personal

    support.

    Work with other middle school counselors to

    develop districtwide practices that strengthen the

    K12 college and career ready pipeline by focusing

    on middle school as the critical bridge between

    elementary and high school.

    Parents and Families

    Create school- and community-based events

    for parents and families to gain information

    about helping their children deepen their school

    engagement (see all student interventions above).

    Hold the events at a variety of times and locations

    (community or recreation centers, places of worship,

    civic centers, or malls) to accommodate a range of

    schedules. Use materials written in parents and

    families native languages.

    Help parents and families learn how to locate

    resources (e.g., assistance with academic and

    behavioral issues such as absenteeism) and to

    navigate the school system so they can be advocates

    for their children.

    Teach parents and families the process and

    components of college and career readiness critical

    to middle school and how it can open opportunity for

    high school and beyond.

    Community

    Develop community connections to increase student

    exposure to jobs/careers that reflect their likes and

    interests and begin to create awareness of their state,

    national and global communities.

    Invite representatives from local college and career

    and technical schools, historically black colleges and

    universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions

    (HSIs), tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), and

    Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-

    serving institutions (AANAPISIs) to meet with

    students and families to discuss early college

    planning and goal setting.

  • 6 NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness2

    Component

    the goAlAdvance students planning, preparation, participation and

    performance in a rigorous academic program that connects

    to their college and career aspirations and goals.

    Why it mAtterSAn academic plan is a road map to success. When

    students develop an academic plan that specifies the

    courses they need and in what order, they can focus on

    college and career planning and goal setting.

    WhAt to meASureTo assess your students academic progress, look at

    their proficiency in key subject areas; enrollment in and

    completion of rigorous courses, especially math; and

    their academic performance in relation to grade-level

    benchmarks.

    Relevant data

    Proficiency in state tests for English, math and

    science

    Students enrolled in and completing Algebra I

    WhAt to looK ForData by student groups

    Break down the data to assess performance of

    student groups, paying close attention to traditionally

    underserved populations. (See page 3 for a list of the

    student groups).

    Disparities between student groups

    For example:

    How do English proficiency rates of low-income

    students compare to those of their more affluent

    peers?

    How do the Algebra I enrollment rates of African

    American students compare to those of white

    students?

    How do the Algebra I completion rates for Latino

    students compare to those of Asian students?

    WhAt to DoWork systemwide

    Work systemwide with students, schools, districts,

    parents and families, and communities to reach

    everyone. Focus your work on the students who need

    the most help, and then use data to assess the impact

    of those efforts. In this way, you will create equitable

    interventions and begin to close the gaps.

  • Middle School Counselors Guide: Component 2 7

    WorK SyStemWiDe

    Students (Individual, Group, Classroom and Grade)

    Help students identify the knowledge and skills

    they have and those they must acquire for success

    in middle and high school and beyond. Provide

    concrete information about how taking courses such

    as Algebra I in eighth grade can affect their future

    opportunities.

    Help traditionally underserved students in rigorous

    courses identify their strengths, build resiliency skills,

    make personal commitments to learning and persist

    to course completion.

    Help students gain the studying and test-taking skills

    and the higher-order thinking skills (application,

    synthesis, evaluation and creativity) necessary to

    attain proficiency or higher in key academic areas.

    Use college and career readiness content as a base

    for teaching these transferable skills.

    Help students use good learning habits (plan

    work, use multiple information resources, check

    for accuracy, ask for feedback, follow directions,

    ask clarifying questions, increase patience and

    persistence, and self evaluate) and their learning

    style to research, write and present projects about

    careers focused on selected career clusters.

    School

    Collaborate with teachers and administrators to

    examine data about enrollment in rigorous, honors

    and accelerated courses. Review policies that govern

    entrance into these courses to ensure equitable

    access, and monitor both enrollment and completion

    for all student groups.

    Work with the schools master scheduler to ensure

    there are sufficient sections of rigorous courses so

    opportunity is equitable. Collaborate with those who

    teach rigorous courses to acclimate traditionally

    underserved students to higher levels of rigor.

    Build early-warning systems for all students

    experiencing academic difficulty. Provide safety nets,

    peer supports and mentoring to help students learn

    concrete ways to improve their performance through

    skill development.

    District

    Collaborate with elementary counselors to assess

    students participation in rigorous courses and

    determine the range of skills that students have when

    they enter middle school.

    Work with high school counselors to communicate

    high school academic opportunities and

    requirements to help parents and students prepare

    for the transition from middle school. Identify

    students who will need academic support.

    Collaborate with other middle school counselors

    to develop lesson plan banks of best practices and

    data-driven strategic planning ideas that support

    districtwide academic goal attainment for all

    students.

    Parents and Families

    Create outreach efforts for parents and families that

    outline critical information provided to students

    about academic performance, skill development and

    planning for college and career readiness (see all

    student interventions above).

    Help parents and families learn how to help their

    children develop and implement a program of

    study, create a positive and productive learning

    environment at home, and understand the

    consequences of not engaging in the process.

    Help parents and families effectively communicate

    with school personnel to gather critical information

    about their childrens learning needs, maintain

    regular communication to closely follow their

    childrens progress and intervene rapidly if needed.

    Community

    Team with community programs where students

    can build reading, numeracy, technology and job

    readiness skills to increase their effectiveness as

    learners. This is especially important for underserved

    students.

    Promote community engagement opportunities

    that link science, technology, engineering and math

    (STEM) fields and college and career readiness

    through real-life hands-on activities such as robotics.

    Locate community champions who can serve as

    role models and promote academic excellence, goal

    setting and career awareness.

  • 8 NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement3

    Component

    the goAlEnsure equitable exposure to a wide range of

    extracurricular and enrichment opportunities that build

    leadership, nurture talents and interests, and increase

    engagement with school.

    Why it mAtterSEnrichment and extracurricular activities increase

    students engagement and academic performance and

    assist them in gaining confidence and achieving goals.

    These experiences give students the opportunity to

    explore and experiment in activities that can lead to their

    future college and career options.

    WhAt to meASureEngagement in enrichment and extracurricular activities

    is measured by participation, including taking on a

    leadership role.

    Relevant data

    Participation in enrichment activities (e.g., academic

    support, summer bridge programs, TRIO and STEM

    initiatives)

    Participation in extracurricular activities (e.g.,

    organizations, teams, camps, clubs and scouts)

    Students in leadership positions in enrichment and/or

    extracurricular activities

    WhAt to looK ForData by student groups

    Break down the data to assess performance of

    student groups, paying close attention to traditionally

    underserved populations. (See page 3 for a list of the

    student groups.)

    Disparities between student groups

    For example:

    How do low-income students participation rates in

    enrichment activities compare to those of their more

    affluent peers?

    How do participation rates in extracurricular activities

    of white students compare to those of African

    American students?

    How does female students percentage of holding

    leadership roles compare to that of male students?

    WhAt to DoWork systemwide

    Work systemwide with students, schools, districts,

    parents and families, and communities to reach

    everyone. Focus your work on the students who need

    the most help, and then use data to assess the impact

    of those efforts. In this way, you will create equitable

    interventions and begin to close the gaps.

  • Middle School Counselors Guide: Component 3 9

    WorK SyStemWiDe

    Students (Individual, Group, Classroom and Grade)

    Help students develop enrichment and extracurricular

    portfolios that can increase their options for high

    school and postsecondary activity participation

    and enhance their future admission applications.

    Portfolio items may include work samples, audition

    recordings, artwork, community service and

    leadership positions.

    Support students participation in school, local,

    regional and national competitions that provide

    opportunities for positive competitive interactions in

    endeavors such as debate, athletics, music, dance,

    drama and STEM.

    Teach students how to identify and research colleges/

    career/technical schools that offer academic majors,

    minors, special programs, and enrichment and

    extracurricular activities that appeal and connect to

    their current interests, abilities and talents.

    Teach students how to analyze, review and translate

    their inventory and survey results and how to

    use them to inform decisions about choosing and

    participating in activities.

    School

    Collaborate with your schools leadership team to

    conduct a school and community audit of enrichment

    and extracurricular activities. Ensure that all activities

    provide all students with participation and leadership

    options.

    Encourage teachers to integrate enrichment and

    extracurricular activities into the academic curriculum

    to make connections to subject-matter disciplines

    through class and homework assignments and

    projects.

    Encourage faculty and staff to provide meaningful

    student service-learning and community service

    opportunities that may be applied as future high

    school credit and enhance future postsecondary

    admission applications.

    Help activity leaders, coaches and mentors develop

    letters of recommendation and certificates to confirm

    students participation and leadership roles.

    District

    Collaborate with elementary and high school

    counselors to share information about auditions,

    tryouts and sign-ups for age-appropriate scholarships

    and grants for enrichment and extracurricular

    engagement before students enter high school.

    Share information about participation prerequisites

    and requirements, including information on National

    Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules and

    performing arts criteria.

    Collaborate with elementary and high school

    counselors to develop district-approved lists of

    resources, materials and individuals/organizations

    that provide school- and community-based

    enrichment and extracurricular support, services

    and assistance.

    Parents and Families

    Create outreach efforts that help parents and families

    understand and engage in their role of supporting

    their childrens participation in enrichment and

    extracurricular activities (see all student interventions

    above).

    Teach parents and families how to identify their

    childrens unique ideas, interests, talents and abilities.

    Provide resources and materials that encourage and

    support learning, curiosity and development, such as

    home lesson plans for academic and activity portfolio

    and calendar development.

    Teach parents and families how to use school and

    community resources to locate free and low-cost

    enrichment and extracurricular activities that support

    academic learning and engagement and career

    interest development.

    Community

    Collaborate with community leaders to distribute lists

    of community organizations that offer enrichment

    and extracurricular opportunities that support the

    districtwide college and career readiness agenda.

    Collaborate with federal, state and local enrichment

    programs that are geared to identifying and

    supporting underserved students, parents and

    families (e.g., GEAR-UP, 4-H and precollege

    programs).

  • 10 NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes4

    Component

    the goAlProvide early and ongoing exposure to experiences and

    information necessary to make informed decisions when

    selecting a college or career that connects to academic

    preparation and future aspirations.

    Why it mAtterSDeepening students self-awareness and the

    connection between who they are and their ability to

    fulfill their future educational goals is a critical part of

    college and career exploration and selection.

    WhAt to meASureTo assess students movement through the college

    and career process, look at participation in continuous

    exploration and selection experiences and engagement.

    Relevant data

    Participation in college and career exploration

    programs

    WhAt to looK ForData by student groups

    Break down the data to assess performance of

    student groups, paying close attention to traditionally

    underserved populations. (See page 3 for a list of the

    student groups.)

    Disparities between student groups

    For example:

    How do participation rates in college and career

    exploration programs for African American female

    students compare to those of white female students?

    How do seventh-grade English language learners

    (ELL) participation rates in college and career

    exploration programs compare to those of seventh-

    grade non-ELL students?

    How do participation rates in college and career

    exploration programs of Latino students compare to

    those of African American students?

    WhAt to DoWork systemwide

    Work systemwide with students, schools, districts,

    parents and families, and communities to reach

    everyone. Focus your work on the students who need

    the most help, and then use data to assess the impact

    of those efforts. In this way, you will create equitable

    interventions and begin to close the gaps.

  • Middle School Counselors Guide: Component 4 11

    WorK SyStemWiDe

    Students (Individual, Group, Classroom and Grade)

    Help students develop programs of study to make

    connections between students middle and high

    school academic preparation and their postsecondary

    success.

    Teach students how to research a wide range of

    institutions and how to obtain, review and navigate

    admission applications (paper and online) and

    learn about the various application sections,

    including directions, essay topics and work-sample

    submissions.

    Help students sign up for college/career/technical

    school mailings, listservs and social media groups to

    get institution updates and newsletters. Use student-

    led discussion groups as platforms for students to

    share information and resources about colleges and

    careers.

    Provide students with information about different

    types of institutions (e.g., two- and four-year, public

    and private, in-state and out-of-state). Show students

    how their schoolwork now can connect to various

    degrees, majors, school supports and amenities, and

    institutional costs.

    Create experiential opportunities, such as working

    with a mentor, on-site field trips and job shadowing,

    to help students identify links between their personal

    and educational aspirations and their school

    performance (e.g., reading, math and language

    proficiency).

    School

    Collaborate with teachers to integrate college/career/

    technical school admission application processes

    into existing academic curriculum. Activities

    might include writing personal essays, developing

    academic and extracurricular resumes, and gathering

    and documenting personal and family information.

    Collaborate with academic department heads to

    distribute course selection information that charts the

    relationship between middle and high school courses

    and postsecondary majors and career options.

    Explain the types of rigorous courses recommended

    for various future career opportunities.

    District

    Collaborate with high school counselors to align

    college and career information in middle and high

    school so students planning is continuous and

    supports the districts college and career readiness

    agenda. Include information about postsecondary

    institutions that offer precollege programs, initiatives

    and resources.

    Coordinate districtwide visits to college and career

    fairs and college/career/technical schools that include

    student engagement with campus offices such as

    admission and financial aid, academic departments,

    and campus life (e.g., student support services, clubs

    and organizations, residence life, counseling, and

    community service).

    Parents and Families

    Create outreach efforts to teach parents and

    families about their role in assisting their children

    in continuous college and career exploration and

    selection processes (see all student interventions

    above).

    Teach parents how to help their children compare

    and contrast postsecondary institutions attributes,

    offerings and admission requirements.

    Assist parents and families with signing up for

    college/career/technical school mailings, listservs and

    social media groups to retrieve newsletters and other

    forms of information that may be relevant to their

    childrens academic interests and career goals.

    Community

    Connect with area nonprofit organizations to pool

    resources to develop before- and after-care academic

    programming that supports your school and

    communitys college and career exploration goals

    and increases student engagement during out-of-

    school time.

    Collaborate with local postsecondary institutions to

    develop messages about middle and high school

    graduation requirements and prerequisites for

    accelerated programs.

  • 12 NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    College and Career Assessments5Component

    the goAlPromote preparation, participation and performance in

    college and career assessments by all students.

    Why it mAtterSTesting, such as ReadiStep, EXPLORE, PSAT/NMSQT,

    PLAN, and career assessments, is one critical element

    of college and career readiness. Teaching students

    how testing and academics will help them attain their

    aspirations is a critical part of helping them set and reach

    their goals.

    WhAt to meASureTo assess your students testing needs, look at their

    preparation, participation and performance for college

    and career assessments.

    Relevant data

    Participation in career/interest assessments

    Participation in ReadiStep, PSAT/NMSQT, EXPLORE

    and PLAN

    Performance in ReadiStep, PSAT/NMSQT, EXPLORE

    and PLAN

    WhAt to looK ForData by student groups

    Break down the data to assess performance of

    student groups, paying close attention to traditionally

    underserved populations. (See page 3 for a list of the

    student groups.)

    Disparities between student groups

    For example:

    How do Native American students participation rates

    in career/interest assessments compare to those of

    Latino students?

    How do the ReadiStep performance rates of African

    American students compare to those of white

    students?

    How do the Asian students participation rates in

    EXPLORE compare to those of white students?

    WhAt to DoWork systemwide

    Work systemwide with students, schools, districts,

    parents and families, and communities to reach

    everyone. Focus your work on the students who need

    the most help, and then use data to assess the impact

    of those efforts. In this way, you will create equitable

    interventions and begin to close the gaps.

  • Middle School Counselors Guide: Component 5 13

    WorK SyStemWiDe

    Students (Individual, Group, Classroom and Grade)

    Help students understand the connections among

    assessments, academic planning (program of

    study), college and career exploration, and future

    life aspirations. Pay attention to students who do not

    participate in assessments to promote equity for all

    student groups.

    Help students become test savvy by developing

    test-preparation skills that include how to overcome

    test anxiety, identify types of test questions, make

    educated guesses and interpret scores.

    Teach students how to use assessment results to

    identify knowledge and skill gaps and take ownership

    of their learning. Emphasize the importance of

    assessments and also assure them that a one-time

    assessment is not the sole determinant of their

    future.

    Help students use career interest inventory results

    in positive ways that promote self-knowledge and

    connect to their future ambitions. Provide real-life

    experiences, such as classroom visitors, field trips

    and technology-based activities, to show students a

    broad range of future possibilities.

    School

    For all college and career assessments given at

    school, identify policies, practices and procedures, or

    structural barriers that may limit test participation or

    negatively affect performance.

    Collaborate with teachers and administrators to

    develop a positive culture and climate around

    assessments. Emphasize that assessments are a

    means of increasing ones knowledge of self and

    career opportunities.

    Help teachers integrate college and career

    assessments into the curriculum in ways that fill

    knowledge and skill gaps and make concrete links

    between academic content areas and college and

    careers.

    District

    Collaborate with elementary school counselors to

    gather information about career-related interest

    inventories or career-focused information used in

    elementary school to create a smooth transition for

    students entering middle school.

    Collaborate with high school counselors to share

    information about college and career/interest

    assessments to assist in identifying skill gaps for

    students as they transition to high school.

    Collaborate with middle school counselors across

    the district to plan districtwide career activities that

    reflect students interests and support district goals

    for college and career readiness.

    Parents and Families

    Create outreach efforts to help parents and families

    promote a positive perspective on assessments and

    to show their children how to use assessments as

    tools for gathering information and learning about

    themselves (see all student interventions above).

    Help parents and families create a positive home

    environment focused on preparing students to

    participate in assessments. Emphasize reducing test

    anxiety and preparing for test day.

    Provide parents and families with information about

    potential college and career assessments/inventories

    available in high school. Include the appropriate use,

    timing and interpretation of assessment results to

    inform academic planning in productive ways.

    Community

    Collaborate with local libraries, recreation and civic

    centers that have online capabilities to provide

    students, parents and families with access to

    questionnaires, surveys and inventories so they can

    share exploration experiences outside the classroom.

    Create partnerships with community leaders that

    represent careers identified in students assessment

    results. Provide opportunities for students to visit job

    sites to broaden their understanding and knowledge

    of various careers.

    Collaborate with community leaders to ensure that

    they convey the accurate meaning and purpose

    of assessments and assessment results to the

    community.

  • 14 NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    College Affordability Planning6Component

    the goAlProvide students and families with comprehensive

    information about college costs, options for paying for

    college, and the financial aid and scholarship processes

    and eligibility requirements, so they are able to plan for

    and afford a college education.

    Why it mAtterSUnderstanding financial planning and the use and

    management of money is critical for students and

    families. These skills will assist them in making sound

    financial plans and decisions related to students future

    educational goals.

    WhAt to meASureContinued participation in financial literacy and financial

    aid planning initiatives encourages students and families

    to engage in the timely collection and preparation of

    financial information and documentation needed for

    future completion of the Free Application for Federal

    Student Aid (FAFSA).

    Relevant data

    Participation in early awareness financial literacy and

    financial aid initiatives

    Participation in financial aid planning processes

    WhAt to looK ForData by student groups

    Break down the data to assess performance of

    student groups, paying close attention to traditionally

    underserved populations. (See page 3 for a list of the

    student groups.)

    Disparities between student groups

    For example:

    How do English language learners participation rates

    in financial literacy initiatives compare to those of

    non-English language learners?

    How do low-income students participation rates

    in financial aid initiatives compare to those of their

    more affluent peers?

    How do participation rates in financial aid planning

    processes of eighth-grade white students compare to

    those of eighth-grade Latino students?

    WhAt to DoWork systemwide

    Work systemwide with students, schools, districts,

    parents and families, and communities to reach

    everyone. Focus your work on the students who need

    the most help, and then use data to assess the impact

    of those efforts. In this way, you will create equitable

    interventions and begin to close the gaps.

  • Middle School Counselors Guide: Component 6 15

    WorK SyStemWiDe

    Students (Individual, Group, Classroom and Grade)

    Teach students how to make personal financial

    decisions and how to identify the characteristics

    of being financially responsible. Provide concrete

    examples of everyday living costs and expenses (e.g.,

    food, gas, utilities, transportation and rent/mortgage).

    Teach students about various financial aid

    opportunities (e.g., scholarships, grants, loans,

    work-study, savings plans) from sources such as the

    federal government, state higher education agencies,

    postsecondary institutions, organizations and private

    funders.

    Teach students how to research and apply for (with

    parental consent) age- and grade-appropriate

    scholarships and grants from various funders. Ensure

    that students know how to identify and adhere

    to various financial aid application deadlines and

    requirements.

    Provide students with financial aid glossaries and

    tools such as net price calculators to build financial

    literacy and provide information about how to pay

    for college/career/technical school and in-depth

    examples of future lifestyle options and the level of

    wealth needed to attain them.

    School

    Encourage teachers to integrate financial literacy and

    financial aid vocabulary into the existing academic

    curriculum. Incorporate videos, interactive classroom

    activities and assignments that cover income and

    careers, money management, financial planning,

    credit and debt, and saving and investing.

    Collaborate with your school librarian to develop a

    resource center that includes free age-appropriate

    financial literacy and financial aid information,

    resources and tools in multiple languages from

    federal and state entities such as the U.S. Department

    of Education, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S.

    Financial Literacy and Education Commission, and

    the state higher education commission.

    District

    Collaborate with other middle school counselors to

    share information about federal, state, district and

    school-based scholarships and grants. Share tips,

    strategies, guidebooks and sample applications.

    Collaborate with other middle school counselors

    to review and analyze trends in districtwide high

    school FAFSA data. Use these data to support your

    school and districts financial literacy and financial aid

    awareness agenda.

    Parents and Families

    Create outreach efforts to ensure that parents and

    families are aware of their role in helping their

    children deepen their financial literacy and their

    knowledge of financial aid processes (see all student

    interventions above).

    Ensure that parents and families understand federal

    privacy laws (regarding children under age 13) such

    as The Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act of

    1998 (COPPA) and the Childrens Privacy Protection

    Final Rule, which address parental consent and the

    collection, use and disclosure of student-, parent- and

    family-identifiable information.

    Ensure that parents and families engage in the

    financial aid application preparation process

    knowing that their special, unique and/or financial

    circumstances may not prevent their students from

    applying for and/or receiving most financial aid.

    Assist parents and families in documenting special

    circumstances that may qualify them for special

    financial aid programs and support.

    Community

    Collaborate with faith-based institutions to publish

    paper and online announcements in bulletins,

    newsletters and message boards about school and

    community-based financial literacy and financial aid

    awareness initiatives.

    Partner with local businesses and financial

    institutions to develop and provide scholarship and

    stipend opportunities for students.

    Collaborate with financial institutions to give

    students, parents and families information about

    opening student checking and savings accounts,

    creating and managing personal budgets, and

    avoiding credit card problems.

  • 16 NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    The chart below shows key data elements for each of the Eight Components.

    Data Elements, By ComponentElementary

    SchoolMiddle School

    High School

    1. College Aspirations

    Attendance

    Discipline

    Promotion

    GPA

    Dropout

    2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness

    Students reading on grade level in grade 3

    Proficiency in state tests for English, math and science

    Students enrolled in and completing Algebra I

    Students enrolled in and completing AP courses

    Students enrolled in and completing courses required for in-state university admission

    3. Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement

    Participation in enrichment activities (e.g., academic support, summer bridge programs, TRIO and STEM initiatives)

    Participation in extracurricular activities (e.g., organizations, teams, camps, clubs and scouts)

    Students in leadership positions in enrichment and/or extracurricular programs

    4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes

    Participation in college and career exploration programs

    College and career/technical school application completion

    College and career/technical school application submission

    5. College and Career Assessments

    Participation in career/interest assessments

    Participation in ReadiStep, PSAT/NMSQT, EXPLORE and PLAN

    Performance on ReadiStep, PSAT/NMSQT, EXPLORE and PLAN

    Participation in SAT, SAT Subject Tests and ACT

    Performance on SAT, SAT Subject Tests and ACT

    6. College Affordability Planning

    Participation in early awareness financial literacy and financial aid initiatives

    Participation in financial aid planning processes

    Scholarship application completion

    FAFSA completion

    7. College and Career Admission Processes

    Two- and four-year college acceptance

    Career and technical school acceptance

    Early action or early decision acceptance (four-year institutions)

    8. Transition from High School Graduation to College Enrollment

    Final transcripts processed

    Two- and four-year college enrollment

    Career and technical school enrollment

    Data Elements for the Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

  • About the College Board

    The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success

    and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education.

    Today, the membership association is made up of more than 5,900 of the worlds leading educational

    institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board

    helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs

    and services in college readiness and college success including the SAT and the Advanced Placement

    Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of

    students, educators and schools.

    For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.

    The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center was established to help transform education in America.

    Guided by the College Boards principles of excellence and equity in education, we work to ensure that

    students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. We make critical

    connections between policy, research and real-world practice to develop innovative solutions to the most

    pressing challenges in education today.

    Additional Resources College Board www.collegeboard.org

    College Counseling Sourcebook http://store.collegeboard.com/sto/enter.do

    CollegeEd http://ce.collegeboard.org/about-ce/

    National Career Development Guidelines http://associationdatabase.com/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/Home_Page

    National PTA Standards www.pta.org/national_standards.asp

    NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling http://nosca.collegeboard.org

    NOSCAs Own the Turf College and Career Readiness Counseling Toolkit http://nosca.collegeboard.org

    School Counselors Strategic Planning Tool http://nosca.collegeboard.org

    Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) www.sreb.org

    YouCanGo! http://youcango.collegeboard.org

  • www.collegeboard.org advocacy.collegeboard.org http://nosca.collegeboard.org

    noScA: the national office for School counselor Advocacy creates a national presence for school counselors by:

    Developing, publishing and nationally disseminating tools and materials that will enhance school

    counselors capacity to practice in ways that promote college and career readiness for all students.

    Creating processes and strategies that will help school counselors solidify their position as important

    players in educational reform, using data to demonstrate accountability measures that promote

    educational equity.

    Providing research, training and conferences that will help school counselors in attaining the knowledge

    and skills needed for providing college and career readiness counseling for all students.

    NOSCA: National Office for School Counselor Advocacy

    11b-4382 120504769

    Advocacy is central to the work of the College Board. Working with members, policymakers and the

    education community, we promote programs, policies and practices that increase college access and

    success for all students. In a world of growing complexity and competing demands, we advocate to ensure

    that education comes first.

    NOSCA: National Office for School Counselor Advocacy

    NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    Elementary School Counselors Guide

    Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    Equity Leadership Transformation

    The College Board National Office for School Counselor Advocacy

    11b_4416_8_Components.indd 1 10/5/11 9:46 AM

    Equity Leadership Transformation

    The College Board National Offi ce for School Counselor AdvocacySchool Counselor Strategic Planning Tool

    Every student should graduate from high school with the educational preparation and social capital necessary for success in college and the workforce.

    School counselors are well positioned as the school professionals best able to guide all students toward college and career readiness. To be effective leaders in establishing a college-going culture, counselors must be strong advocates for their students and their profession and possess the skills to drive positive change in the school.

    Strategic planning is an essential tool for school counselors to use to drive positive change in schools. Strategic planning helps school counselors use data to set clear goals and develop strategies with measurable outcomes for student achievement and success. Using this process helps school counselors to align college and career counseling with school improvement plans. It makes the case that college counseling is an effective way to meet the goals set by principals and district leaders. This allows counselors to become school leaders and advocates for all students. A clear plan enables them to build college and career readiness programs at each level of K12 education.

    My counselors strategic planning helped us transform the school community into one where everyone in the building was focused on getting all our students ready for college.

    Sharon SevierDirector of Guidance and CounselingRockwood School Districteureka, Mo.

    NOSCAs strategic planning process:

    Makes the most of the school counselors time and resources

    Links goals, interventions and outcomes

    Provides evidence to advocate for systemic change

    Eliminates random initiatives

    Provides results measured in student outcomes

    NOSCAs strategic planning process helps school counselors:

    Step 1:Analyze Data

    Step 2:Set Goals

    Step 3:Choose Solutions

    Step 6:Institutionalize

    equity Gains

    Step 5:Collect/ReportOutcome Data

    Step 4:Implement

    the plan

    11b_4393_counseling_page.indd 2 10/5/11 9:53 AM

    NOSCA: National Office for School Counselor Advocacy

    NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    Middle School Counselors Guide

    NOSCA: National Office for School Counselor Advocacy

    NOSCAs Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling

    High School Counselors Guide

    http://advocacy.collegeboard.org

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